Tring Athletic went down 2-0 at home when facing fellow title-rivals Biggleswade FC on Saturday.
It was a disappointing result in one of the biggest SSML Premier Division games so far this term in a second against third-place clash.
But Tring only have themselves to blame after conceding a goal on three minutes, although it did appear to be offside. There appeared to be no danger when an aimless pass was played into the box until Lee Northfield appeared from nowhere to slip the ball past keeper Connor Sansom.
Athletic then failed to put away some decent chances to get back into the game.
The task was made even harder on 60 minutes after Tring failed to deal with a corner when Sansom dropped the ball and Alex Marsh took full advance to double Biggleswade’s lead.
Tring then had 30 minutes to try to reduce the arrears but they never really broke through the opposition’s well-drilled defence.
Despite the win, Biggleswade are still only in second place as Hadley retained top spot after their 3-0 home victory over London Colney.
Tring, who led the league in November, have now dropped down to third but still have 14 games to put things right and get back up into the top two.
Hadley are five points clear but Tring still have two games in hand over their fellow promotion hopefuls.
Biggleswade are three points adrift of Hadley but have four games in hand over the table-toppers and two over Tring.
This Saturday Athletic will hope to return to winning ways when they visit bottom club Stotfold.